The way the world ends

This is the way the world ends:
with a woman’s pain and a squalling child
the old world dying and the new world rushing in
like the newborn’s head forcing its way in pain from
darkness
to
light

A Big Bang of agony and delight
to start a life of sorrow,
to end in death,
to inaugurate forever joy,
to end in life with the end of ending lives.

The end of the world comes with a bang, a whimper,
a cry muffled by sheep-sound and mother’s breast
the groaning of the earth as she whirls under the silent,
shouting stars and the assembled host of heaven,
waiting to be born
again

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